the_deep_magic: A nightmare inexplicably torn from the pages of Kafka! (Default)
Visited prison today, and it was... not much to write home about.  It was a minimum-security, faith-based prison (the class was Faith-Based Programs in Criminal Justice), and we didn't actually talk to any of the inmates, mostly just the chaplain and a few guards.  Still, we had to wait quite a while to be cleared to go in (even though we weren't searched or even put through a metal detector) and one of my classmates kept freaking out.  She got better once we went inside, though we were all issued clip-on panic buttons, and when it was her turn to go in, she said, "Can I have one of those 'so I don't die' thingies?"

The worst part was that I'd eaten lunch at 11:30 and we left for the prison at 3 and didn't get back until around 8:30 -- and I didn't think to bring a snack (not that they would have let me bring it in, but we didn't actually go inside until around 5).  So all of us were starving, and all I kept thinking about was the stupid turducken and how I could have been eating it instead of listening to that girl babble nervously about razor wire and how do you think they get it up there, does someone install it by hand, what kind of gloves do they have to wear?

All we talked about on the way back was food.

Thoughts on The Trailer (Extended Japanese Version) )

I am excited.  I'm trying to squee harder, but I'm just too exhausted right now.  Let me sleep for about three days straight and I'll be doing cartwheels, okay?  Also, I'm really not freaking out about how long it is until May, because I'm almost certainly going to have to decide by then whether I want to take the thesis option for my degree and... yeah, that day is going to get here really fucking soon.

Query: is the 9-minute preview only going to be before the IMAX version of The Hobbit?

ETA: Oh oh oh, I forgot to say, I went to see Rise of the Guardians, because Chris Pine's voice.  Hnnnnnnngh.  Hugh Jackman didn't hurt either.  The story was a bit thin, but the animation was lovely and also Chris Pine's voice.  All I want for Christmas is for him to leave dirty messages on my voice mail.  That's really not too much to ask, is it?
the_deep_magic: (In which Jayne is wise)
Got pulled out of philosophy tutoring to help the writing people today, and turducken was the conversation piece of the day.  At first I thought it was because one of my fellow writing tutors, who is not generally known for being ditzy or anything, allegedly believed a turducken to be an actual hybrid animal.  Then, during a rare break in the tutoring action (when my boss had come in the room and shut the door behind her to keep out this one annoying student who has been banned from writing tutoring sessions but will not. go. away.), a chem tutor from down the hall stopped by to extol the turducken as the perfect evolutionary revenge: dinosaurs used to eat our ancestors*, they evolved into birds, and so now we take our vengeance by "stuffing one bird up the cloaca of another bird up the cloaca of another bird -- it's beautiful."

But it turns out that the tutors and advisors are pooling together to actually buy a turducken (which is about $100, but you get something like 19 pounds of meat, so I guess it's not a bad deal) and having a whole holiday feast... on the day I'm going on a field trip to a jail for a class's "final exam."  So when I heard when they were having the party, I blurted out "BUT THAT'S WHEN I'M GOING TO PRISON!"  My boss said, "Well, you should've found a better place to hide the bodies."

Dammit, I've always wanted to try turducken.  They offered to save me some, but I wouldn't be able to come get it until the next day, and I don't think day-old turducken is the optimal first-turducken experience.  Nor is the kind they sell in the freezer case at the grocery store.  Sigh...

Anyway, the prison visit's a week from today, and the professor was talking about what we should and shouldn't wear, and all I could think of was Arrested Development.  I guess I'm going to have to leave my red SLUT tank top at home.

*No, I don't know if he's been watching too much Flintstones or what.  Dammit, he's a chem tutor, not a... paleontologist? I think we're all just getting stupid from dealing with painfully clueless students all day.
the_deep_magic: A nightmare inexplicably torn from the pages of Kafka! (SW: it's a love story really)
So I've had really good luck with bosses in my... let's be overly generous and call it a "career."  Even at the soul-sucking law firm job, my boss left me alone to do my work and wished me well when I quit.  Anyway, luckily enough, this trend has continued at the tutoring center, and the woman who oversees all the humanities tutoring (including writing and philosophy) is really sweet.  Almost too sweet -- she gives lip service to being all strict on the "no walk-ins" policy, but she won't actually turn anyone away, even if it means triple booking us or consulting with a student herself.  She's so laid back I sometimes want to sniff her ever-present Dr Pepper can to see if there's more than just Dr Pepper in there.* 

She's so sweet, she wants to make sure we're all eating enough roughage. )

*(There's no period after the Dr -- look it up.)
the_deep_magic: (Hi there gorgeous)
Did my deviance field experiment today -- it consisted of wearing a cheesehead hat to the mall (note: I am not in any way affiliated with the Green Bay Packers; I simply like cheese, remarked upon the fact that if I had one of those sweet Green Bay cheese hats I would wear it, and was promptly gifted said hat by my sister for Christmas).  That was the easy part.  The hard part was noting down the reactions of the people around me without looking like I was noting down the reactions of people around me.  Thank god for the Notepad feature on my cell phone, because no one looks twice at an idiot walking around typing on her cell phone anymore.  Unless she's wearing a cheese hat.

But anyway, things also got complicated when my professor suddenly mentioned two weeks ago that I was going to need an accomplice to take down the reactions I couldn't see (as most people wait to point and laugh until they are behind the idiot wearing the cheese hat).  I don't know many people in the area yet and none of my classmates would help me out (thanks for nothing, bitches), but I finally found a co-worker who was willing to do it.  She asked if she could bring her boyfriend, which initially made me roll my eyes, but turned out to be perfect, because he made it less obvious that she was following me around.  I think he was actually the one who took the phone notes, too, and they're good ones.

My point (because I had one): I didn't want to stop and take a picture of it in the Hallmark store, what with (social) SCIENCE happening and all, but there's a Christmas ornament of Spock meeting Spock Prime!  With recorded dialogue!  Too bad the damn thing's $30.

I just remembered Kink Bingo was a thing.  A thing that I signed up for.  Yeah, I don't think I'm going to be making any bingos this year -- I've got plenty of ideas, just no time to write them in the next 10 days.  Especially considering that now that I have the data, I have to organize it and analyze it and somehow relate it to the course material, which is decidedly not about people wearing cheese hats in malls.  Sorry, "bondage (other)," you're going to have to wait.

Aaaand now there's no appropriate way to transition into this, but my parents' friends' daughter's boyfriend's 6-year-old son (did you follow that?) apparently has a crush on me.  So I've got that going for me.
the_deep_magic: A nightmare inexplicably torn from the pages of Kafka! (The secret's out)
I think I've mentioned this before, but where I work right now is a tutoring center for a variety of subjects, not just a writing center, and I tutor philosophy, too.  Well, theoretically.  I've had exactly three people come in, two of them today.  Which I'm totally okay with, because it gives me paid-homework time (though my boss realized no one was coming in and switched two of my six philosophy hours back to writing) and tutoring in philosophy is really difficult for at least two reasons (other than the fact that I got my philosophy degree seven and a half fucking years ago, holy shit):

Humor me -- I don't get to let my philosophy-freak flag fly very often anymore )

Well, the upshot of all of this is that criminal justice is... well, I'm not going to say easy, because grad school is not easy, but moving from philosophy to rhet/comp to criminal justice has been a progressive move from the abstract to the concrete.  So reading a shit-ton of crim theory?  Doesn't faze me in the slightest.  When people in my classes complain about the texts being hard to read, I want to hand them anything written by John Locke or Leibniz and laugh at their bitter, frustrated weeping. 

Leibniz and his monads

I am a very bad person.
the_deep_magic: (mirror!Spock)
Well, class was less brain-scrambling tonight, probably because we were only focused on Foucault (...aaaaaand that's pretty much the only time you're going to hear the words "Foucault" and "less brain-scrambling" in the same sentence, unless "Judith Butler" is in there too).  But he's still throwing way too much at us too fast; my hand cannot physically keep up with the note-taking.  It doesn't help that I write neatly and therefore slowly.  For some reason, I can't force myself to scribble, and even if I could, it would mean that I would have to transcribe my notes later, anyway.  I AM NOT CLAIMING THIS IS HEALTHY; IT'S JUST HOW IT IS.

Also, this professor and unspecified others in the department have apparently pissed off the sheriff's office by pointing out errors in their statistical analysis of the local homicide rate.  Which wouldn't really be a problem, except that as a requirement for another class, I have to do a ride-along with a sheriff's officer and I can already think of about three dozen separate ways that could go horribly wrong before factoring in the possibility that the officer might not be favoribly disposed toward the criminal justice department at my school and possibly its students. 

I'll let you know if I end up on "Cops."  Hopefully I won't be the one lying facedown on the pavement.

Did I mention we have the highest homicide rate in the state by anyone's calculations?  No?  Okay.

In better (?) news, I was talking to a guy in my class tonight about my Deviance professor, and he asked, "Oh, has she gotten around to talking about BDSM stuff yet?  She loves that."  So I have that to look forward to.

GRAD SCHOOL: IT IS TERRIFYING (AND POSSIBLY SPANKY) GOOD TIMES.
the_deep_magic: (Air Quotin' Mulder)
Turns out training wasn't so bad -- many, many self-confessed nerds among the other tutors, and plenty of Trekkies.  Quite a few female Trekkies, too, which means there's a statistically significant chance of a K/S shipper among them.  We need some type of sign -- a code word, a secret handshake, something.  C'mon, guys, we've had since the '60s to come up with something.  I just have to know whether my boss is one of the Old Guard, and I can't just ask.  I'm not an expert on workplace etiquette, but I think that crosses a line.

It's really a shame that I don't get to actually spend time with many of these people -- I work with two of the four other writing tutors and, of course, Simon... and that's it.  I think you must have to share a certain strain of crazy to do what we do for no money and not a lot of respect, especially the people that have been doing it for years.  Highlight of the meeting: one of the icebreaker questions was "What's been your greatest accomplishment?" and this math/science tutor proudly answered, "Well, I once got kicked out of a lab for coding my initials into an organism's genome.  The professor made me take a bioethics class after that."

I THINK THESE PEOPLE ARE MY KIND OF PEOPLE.

One of the writing tutors I don't work with seems like she might be into internet fandom of some kind, but again, not sure how to broach the topic if we don't get to spend a lot of time together.  Again, signals: one for being in fandom, one for being a slasher, one for being a fic writer, one for being a fan artist...  Will someone ask The Gays (y'know, at their next meeting) if we can we re-appropriate the Hanky Code?  (Color for fandom, patterns for orientation [het, slash, femslash, all of the above], left pocket means "I write/draw/vid it," right pocket means "I read/look at/watch it"...)  Interfandom cooperation and standardization, people.  Somebody get on that.

Also, turns out I learned something I did not know: I have a second school e-mail address which no one thought to mention to me and which, when uncovered, revealed 52 new e-mails dating back to April, some of which were replies to messages I sent from the address that I knew about.  The surprises just never end.
the_deep_magic: A nightmare inexplicably torn from the pages of Kafka! (The secret's out)
I'm taking a course called "Faith-Based Programs in Criminal Justice: A Critical Examination," but the professor who teaches it specializes in the sociology of punishment, so... I am taking a course in the sociology of punishment.  Which is fine, because the material is interesting, and the guy is the chair of the department, so he can pretty much do whatever the hell he wants.  He's obviously very invested in it and knows all there is to know about the sociology of punishment.  Unfortunately, he seems to be trying to teach it to us it all at once.  So tonight the lecture veered from King Henry II and English common law to the "crisis of penal modernity" to the doctrine of deterrence to the importance of lacrosse practice to instrumental vs. expressive punishment to salsa dancing to informal social control systems to sources of prison overcrowding to the price of beer.

I have a hard enough time following my own train of thought half the time.  Hopefully this guy settles down and I won't leave every class feeling like my brain just went through the spin cycle.  Oy.

Having studied in several disciplines now, I find the gender breakdown of each one interesting.  Somewhat surprisingly, my criminal justice classmates are mostly female: only two guys in a class of eleven and one in a class of five (that class started with eight students -- guess which class it is).  Haven't counted the guys in my online class, but there aren't many.  Rhetoric and composition was actually fairly evenly split.  Philosophy was a total boy's club -- I had some female professors, but there were only two other female students in the department, one other major and one minor.  The rest were guys.  (Not that it did me any damn good; I was friends with the girl who was minoring in it, and she once complained [quite accurately], "These stupid philosophy boys just want to talk about love and all I want to do is jump 'em.")

Did I have a point?  My linear thinking capabilities have been temporarily compromised.  This semester is going to be all about punishment and deviance.  You have been warned.

Penal modernity.
the_deep_magic: (So then that happened)
Next door neighbor must have his bed pushed up against the opposite side of the wall from mine, because I can very clearly hear him snoring.  So far it hasn't bothered me trying to go to sleep (thank you, pharmaceutical industry), but it is still not a thing that should be happening.  What if he decides to engage in other, less solitary bed-related activities?  I do not want to hear that shit.  I think we've demonstrated that I'm not much of a prude, but private is private.

Also, I'm pretty sure Crazy Simon is looking up terrible philosopher jokes on the internet, because he has a new one every time he sees me.  I'm not even going to repeat them here, because I am a merciful and compassionate human being.

I just adore explaining to everyone why I'm tutoring writing and philosophy while studying criminal justice.  I think the most pretentiously succinct answer is "I know pretty much everything except how to get a job."  Good news, though -- I AM getting paid minimum wage!  Seventeen extra cents per hour!  Brand-name grape juice for everyone!

EXCEPT FOR SNORING MAN.  OMG.  NO JUICE FOR HIM.

Would it be insulting to leave a box of those Breathe Right nose strips on his doorstep?
the_deep_magic: (Brannigan strikes again)
Well, I'm pretty much settled in.  Even hung the posters (many of the same ones from college, but nicely framed -- because I am an adult, dammit) on the walls finally.  I hate bare walls, but I'm also pretty good at finding creative ways to injure myself, so hammer + nails + stepstool/countertop/edge of the couch = disaster waiting to happen.  I should probably get some actual art (apart from a Hieronymous Bosch print because I'm just edgy like that), but I'm rather attached to my posters, even though other people find some of them... disconcerting.  Particularly the Touch of Evil poster with the giant disembodied head of late-era Orson Welles (same one Wilson had in his office on House, BTW, though I had it first).  But ever since college, he's the one I bounce ideas off of when it's really late and I'm trying desperately to write a paper.

Of course he doesn't talk back.  Well, he hasn't yet.  I'm not ruling it out.

Let's see: school.  I have two once-a-week classes and one online, and all seem like they'll be pretty interesting.  (Though I despise online classes.  I didn't think I'd have to take any, and when I found out I did... I didn't react well.  But I'm over it.  Mostly.)  Going to have to adjust back to reading 200+ pages a week, but it's interesting reading and I can do it pretty fast, so I'm not too worried.  I will, however, for my Law, Deviance and Social Control class, have to do an experiment where I go out in public and personally do something deviant and report back on it.  Though -- the professor was clear -- not something that gets me hurt or arrested.  So there goes the fun stuff.  In another class, I have to do a ride-along with someone from the sheriff's office.  I foresee... awkwardness.

I started work at the tutoring center last Monday with no training other than "Here's where you'll be sitting," but I saw a grand total of one student all week.  Obviously, that's not going to last, and when I have five hours of back-to-back sessions I'm sure I'll be praying for the sweet release of death.  But things are run substantially differently than at my last writing center -- primarily, this is not a writing center but a tutoring center for all subjects.  And I'll be doing philosophy tutoring two days a week, so we'll see how that goes.  But so far I've worked with just three other writing tutors and shared space (because of course philosophy doesn't get its own room) with this utterly batshit guy named Simon.  I think he might be an actual professor that does ESL tutoring on the side, but he is... odd.  You might be getting Simon Stories throughout the semester.

Oh, what the hell, I'll give you one now. )

So of course I did not get to one-tenth of the things I was sure I'd be able to do in the week before classes started, and because of... embarrassing reasons which I may or may not explain later... I got distracted and I already feel like I'm playing catch-up.  But, then, I pretty much always feel like I'm about a step and a half behind, so this is nothing new.  I just have grades riding on it now.  Yay?  Also have to find a social life.  Anyone know where I can get one of those?
the_deep_magic: A nightmare inexplicably torn from the pages of Kafka! (The secret's out)
WE HAVE INTERWEBS.  INTERWEBS ARE A GO.

Now we just need a job and/or a life and we're all set.

I actually do have an "interview" tomorrow for the tutoring center.  I put it in quotation marks because I've basically been assured that, as long as I don't punch the interviewer in the face, I have the job, as I am massively overqualified.  It's basically the same job as the writing center, but at the undergrad pay rate.  This is what having a bachelor's degree, completing most of a master's degree, and teaching college for a year gets you, folks.  Yayyyyyy.  I just keep repeating to myself "It's better than folding shirts at The Gap.  It's better than folding shirts at The Gap."  And ANYTHING is better than the law firm, so... optimism.  Hurrah.

CLASSES START IN A WEEK.  THIS IS A GOOD THING, BRAIN.  BRAIN, WHY AREN'T YOU LISTENING?
the_deep_magic: A nightmare inexplicably torn from the pages of Kafka! (Lee Pace in eyeliner = invalid argument)

I suppose now's as good a time as any to announce it, especially since I've started dealing with the practicalities: I'm going back to grad school.  Different school, totally different field.  As much as I enjoyed Rhetoric and Composition, studying writing and parsing language, even if I went back and finished my thesis, I would essentially just be qualified to teach community college or lower-level university courses.  Not that that is any less valuable than teaching super-advanced literary theory, but I don't think any kind of classroom teaching is what I want to do right now.  Maybe someday, but not now.  I also need to move out of my own hometown for a variety of sanity-related reasons.

New plan: fight crime (tights optional) )



Okay, enough of that Life Plan shit.  Some books for you.

Day 24: A book you wish more people would read )

Day 25: A character who you can relate to the most )

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